Meet our childcare professionals and support staff

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Louise Gourmelen


As Manager and Lead Practitioner of Holy Corner Community Playgroup I provide mindful leadership to ensure that our values of 'community' and 'play' underpin practice, and that children and families stay at the heart of everything we do.

I bring diverse professional experience and education to my role, including a specific practice qualification in Childhood Practice. My practice is child-led, playful and kind, always respecting the rights of the child as individual, and my special research interest is in creative arts practice in Early Years Learning.

I live in the local community and, as a parent, care about preserving our community spaces for children of all ages and their families.

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Carol Malkin

Lead Early Years Practitioner

I joined the team at Holy Corner after completing my SVQ in Social Services (Children and Young People) and have been the Lead Practitioner since 2022. I work 5 mornings. After a successful 17 years working as a Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic I was inspired to retrain in Early Years after watching my son thrive in a child led and nurturing environment at Playgroup, and have now been working with young children for several years in community settings.

Spending most of my childhood outside has fostered a lifelong love of the outdoors, and all things muddy. I spent many summers working in children’s outdoor adventure camps and was a Girl Guide Young Leader and am now a Rainbow Leader. I enjoy facilitating play in the natural environment and embracing the seasons. I love to cook and bake and believe it’s never too early to involve the children in the preparation of healthy snacks.


Fahmida Yasmin

Early Years Practitioner

I am a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Holy Corner Practitioner team.  I work 5 mornings at the Playgroup.

Through my work experience in many nursery schools and after-school clubs I have built strong relationships with parents and children.

During my time in nursery schools, I have worked with a vast range of people from different backgrounds and I have worked closely both with my colleagues and stakeholders daily.

I have great communication skills with the ability to communicate with people of all ages from different backgrounds and cultures due to speaking four languages Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English.

Emily Elgey


Early Years Practitioner

I joined the team in September 2022 after recently moving up to Edinburgh in September 2021, and I work at the playgroup on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Alongside this job I also work as part of the after-school team at Craiglockhart primary school two days a week.

My previous studies within childcare include childcare Level 2 and Level 3, Teaching Assistant Level 2 and Level 3 and my latest course which was a Foundation Degree in Early Years.

My experience working with children whilst studying included working in a variety of settings including nurseries and schools in the foundation stages classes. Both of these have allowed me to work alongside children of different ages from birth to seven years. I have also built confidence in myself which has allowed me to enjoy reading stories to children, helping them learn and develop whilst also having fun.

For several years now, I have also been running my own babysitting service and recently since covid I have been providing care for children during school holidays.

Since I was 7 years old, I have been an active member of Girlguiding. This has now allowed me to become a leader at a Rainbows unit, where I organise activities for 14 girls aged 5 to 7 years. For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed spending time with young children. Family and friends have always commented that a career in childcare or teaching is meant for me, so I am so grateful to be part of this team and see where my future takes me in Early Years.

Ana Maria Duffy


Early Years Playworker (FTC)

We were delighted to welcome Ana Maria back to the team as Playworker to support the children with their learning in Playgroup.

Ana Maria Maria will be with us until the end of the Summer Term 2024.

Manon Booth


Business and Development Manager

I joined the team in April 2023. With a background in Physiotherapy, I initially pursued a career in that field. However, after going on maternity leave and experiencing the joys of motherhood, I realized my passion lay in supporting children.

My journey led me to Holy Corner Community Playgroup (HCCP), where my daughter has been attending for nearly 1.5 years. I couldn't have asked for a better early years setting for her. Deeply impressed by HCCP's approach to children's development, I began volunteering on the parent committee over a year ago. Throughout this time, I have gained invaluable experience by actively participating in more than half of the committee roles.

When the opportunity to become the Business Manager arose, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. With my in-depth knowledge of the playgroup, its staff, and the exceptional care provided, joining the staff team was a natural and fulfilling progression for me.

My responsibilities include supporting the playgroup with banking and payroll, fostering strong relationships with the parent committee, and serving as a liaison between HCCP,  stakeholders and regulatory bodies, such as the Edinburgh Council and the Care Inspectorate.

I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful team, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success and growth of HCCP.

Naomi Sumner-Kalkun

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Business and Development Manager (Maternity Cover)

I am currently supporting the Playgroup while Manon is away.

I came to the role from being an active member of the parent/carer management committee during the time my son was attending the Playgroup.  I loved the Playgroup's values and the important place it holds within the community. I was able to support in many roles, including essential fundraising and marketing, and ending up developing an indepth knowledge that allowed me to take the position of Chair.

So, when the Business and Development Manager (maternity cover) came up I was confident to take it, being able to bring my business skills and the ability to build strong relationships to the role.

My responsibilities include supporting the Playgroup with banking and payroll, liaising between the practitioners, committee,  stakeholders and regulatory bodies, such as the Edinburgh Council and the Care Inspectorate.

Holy Corner Community Playgroup has been a wonderful journey for both myself and my son and I am delighted that I can help to support them in their future.